Wishing & Hoping & Praying
The most disturbing undertone of Condi's confirmation hearing was the only point of agreement among all the Senators: that their confirmation would transform Dr. Rice into a competent public official.
When she tried to foist off a very basic question about currency to the Dept. of the Treasury, Dick Lugar did what he almost never does. He spoke out of turn to point out that the issue was of central concern to the State Department, and then, like almost every Senator who spoke over the last two days, he expressed a fervent hope that Dr. Rice will grow to more fully understand the nature of her new responsibility when she is appointed.
That's hardly the kind of endorsement a Secretary of State should be getting from a Republican chairman of her approving committee. Competency is the least that should be expected, but particularly now, when the Secretary of State will face a clear and pressing agenda where so much is at stake, there should be unanimous faith in her ability, not a unanimous hope that she will somehow transform herself into a fully functioning chief diplomat.
Most telling is Condi's own perspective on her role. When asked by Obama about the suppression of dissenting viewpoints in the Bush administration, she explained that the President is the only elected official in the Executive Branch, and her job is to serve him. Though you can justify such a cloying job description at NSA, at State that is simply unacceptable. The fact that she doesn't understand the role she is stepping into was abundantly clear to the committee who seemed to throw up its hands and pray that she'll somehow mature upon her confirmation.
The committee then adjourned to go tilt at windmills.